Be very quiet and careful when approaching any body of water to go catch some fish. In spring, your quarry is very often quite close to shore in the act of spawning to lay eggs for the next generation. While trout are the spookiest of all fishes in fresh water, all fish are wary.

OK, you have arrived at the pond. Remember to fish into any wind, or cross wind. Use four-pound test line, a small bobber and your choice of jig. My favorite has always been yellow with a white jig head. The pond where I do most of my fishing is relatively shallow; 10 feet is the maximum depth. I start with the bobber about four feet above the jig.

My favorite approach is to use the clock method. That means start short casts at 12 o’clock. If you get a hit or hopefully a fish, cast into the same spot again. Many times in spring, summer and fall, and even winter, fish hold in small groups. Then start casting slightly to the right or left of your first cast. When the action slows, simply move 25 to 50 feet and follow the same routine. I rarely move more than one hundred feet in either direction from my starting position.

The best way to preserve your fresh catch is to carry a floating wire mesh basket. These floating containers are wonderful. Each time you catch a fish to keep, simply pull the floating basket out of the water put the fish into it. My container easily can hold twenty five to fifty fish.

When you are done fishing, simply lift the container out of the water and take it home. I like to put the fish in a plastic bag in a plastic dish wash tub overnight into the refrigerator. They are much easier to clean.

I use a wooden cutting board and my trusty fillet knife. If you do not know how to fillet fish, the internet is full of information. I put the boneless fillets in salted water overnight in the refrigerator. Then, I take about 20 fillets each for a container in water and freeze the fish. They will easily keep one year or more. Of course they never last that long.

We enjoy having farm couples to our house. They get plenty of beef, so a fish dinner is delightful. You can also give a frozen container to a friend or family member. I like to give my brother Tim and his wife Pam some fish each year.

The spring spawn is good into mid to late June annually. I wait then until September to go out again into mid October. Get out and enjoy the gifts God has given us.

If you ever wish to contact me regarding any of my columns, and/or a suggestion for one, my telephone number is 570-673-3622; or my residence is 87 Windfall Road, Alba, PA 16910. E-mail address is: jimcollinsinsurance@frontiernet.net.

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